Murphy's clean energy plan could hit New Jersey residents in the wallet

David Madden
May 27, 2018 - 10:49 pm

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SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) -- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy went to a Central Jersey solar farm to take action this past week on the clean energy front. But one part of the plan could cost all residents up to $40 a year in electricity surcharges that could go directly to keep a pair of South Jersey nuclear plants open.

PSE&G lobbied heavily for the measure that could give them $300 million a year in subsidies to keep the reactors running at the Hope Creek and Salem plants. That would be subject to regulatory approval, and Murphy noted that this bill doesn't guarantee the utility a dime.

"To reach our clean energy goals, we will need to keep these plants open and safely operational," Murphy said. "They not only produce 40 percent if our power but over 90 percent as of today of our clean energy."

Then there's the economic impact.

The utility has threatened to close those facilities down without some help, since they're losing money given the lower price of natural gas.

"These facilities support 5,800 jobs, not to mention the ancillary impact that those jobs have," Murphy added. "Those are good paying union jobs that support a middle class family." 

There's talk of a possible lawsuit from opponents of the plan.

The Governor also approved a bill that seeks to have half of the state's power to come from renewable sources within twelve years.

An executive order sets up a panel to examine ways to make New Jersey 100 percent clean energy by 2050.